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SECTION 1921
Discharge of mortgage
Real Property Actions & Proceedings (RPA) CHAPTER 81, ARTICLE 19
§ 1921. Discharge of mortgage. 1. After payment of authorized
principal, interest and any other amounts due thereunder or otherwise
owed by law has actually been made, and in the case of a credit line
mortgage as defined in section two hundred eighty-one of the real
property law on written request, a mortgagee of real property situate in
this state, unless otherwise requested in writing by the mortgagor or
the assignee of such mortgage, must execute and acknowledge before a
proper officer, in like manner as to entitle a conveyance to be
recorded, a satisfaction of mortgage, and thereupon within thirty days
arrange to have the satisfaction of mortgage: (a) presented for
recording to the recording officer of the county where the mortgage is
recorded, or (b) if so requested by the mortgagor or the mortgagor's
designee, to the mortgagor or the mortgagor's designee. Failure by a
mortgagee to present a certificate of discharge for recording shall
result in the mortgagee being liable to the mortgagor in the amount of
five hundred dollars if he or she fails to present such certificate
within thirty days, shall result in the mortgagee being liable to the
mortgagor in the amount of one thousand dollars if he or she fails to
present a certificate of discharge for recording within sixty days or
shall result in the mortgagee being liable to the mortgagor in the
amount of one thousand five hundred dollars if he or she fails to
present a certificate of discharge for recording within ninety days. For
the purposes of such liability under this subdivision, the term
"mortgagee" shall not include a person, partnership, association,
corporation or other entity which makes less than five mortgage loans in
any calendar year. The mortgagee shall within forty-five days deliver
the note and the mortgage and where a title is registered under article
twelve of the real property law, the registration copy of the mortgage
and any registration certificates in the mortgagee's possession to the
mortgagor or the mortgagor's designee making such payment and request if
required as aforesaid. Delivery of a satisfaction of mortgage in
accordance with the terms of section two hundred seventy-five of the
real property law shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of this
section regarding the satisfaction of mortgage.

2. Upon the failure or refusal of any such mortgagee to comply with
the foregoing provisions of this section any person having an interest
in the mortgage or the debt or obligation secured thereby or in the
mortgaged premises may apply to the supreme court or a justice thereof,
or to the county court or a judge thereof, in or of any county in which
the mortgaged premises or any part thereof are situated in whole or in
part, upon a petition, for an order to show cause why an order should
not be made by such court canceling and discharging the mortgage of
record, and directing the register or clerk of any county in whose
office the same may have been recorded to mark the same upon his records
as canceled and discharged, and further ordering and directing that the
debt or other obligation secured by the mortgage be canceled, upon
condition that in the event such mortgage is not paid, the sums tendered
pursuant to the foregoing provisions of this section be paid to the
officer specified by law to hold court funds and moneys deposited in
court in the county wherein the mortgaged premises are situated in whole
or in part. Said petition must be verified in like manner as a verified
pleading in an action in the supreme court and it must set forth the
grounds of the application.

3. In any case where an actual tender, as provided in subdivision one
of this section, cannot with due diligence be made within this state,
any person having an interest in the mortgage or the debt or obligation
secured thereby, or in the mortgaged premises, may apply to the supreme
court or a justice thereof, or to the county court or a judge thereof,
in or of any county in which the mortgaged premises, or any part thereof
are situated in whole or in part, upon petition setting forth the
grounds of the application and verified as aforesaid, for an order to
show cause why an order should not be made by said court canceling and
discharging the mortgage of record, and directing the register or clerk
of any county in whose office the same may have been recorded to mark
the same upon his records as canceled and discharged and further
ordering and directing that the debt or other obligation secured by the
mortgage be canceled, upon condition that the principal sum of the
mortgage or any unpaid balance thereof, with interest up to the date
when said order shall be entered and the aforesaid fees allowed by law,
be paid to the officer specified by law to hold court funds and moneys
deposited in court in the county wherein the mortgaged premises are
situated in whole or in part.

4. In the case of a mortgage secured by property improved by a
one-to-six family, owner occupied, residential structure or residential
condominium unit, if the mortgagee fails within ninety days to deliver
the satisfaction of mortgage and/or fails within ninety days to deliver
the note and the mortgage and any other documents as required by
subdivision one of this section and if the mortgage is not otherwise
satisfied the mortgagee shall be liable to such person in the amount of
five hundred dollars or the economic loss to such person, whichever is
greater. If the mortgagee has delivered such satisfaction of mortgage in
a timely manner and has certified that the note and/or mortgage are not
in its possession as of such date, the mortgagee shall not be liable
under this section if the mortgagee agrees to defend and hold harmless
the mortgagor by reason of the inability or failure of the mortgagee to
furnish the note or mortgage within the time period prescribed in this
subdivision; provided that in connection with mortgage loans purchased
prior to July twenty-seven, nineteen hundred ninety-one by the state of
New York mortgage agency pursuant to section two thousand four hundred
five or two thousand four hundred-five-b of the public authorities law,
the state of New York mortgage agency, its successors or assigns shall
not be liable under this section if it does not defend and hold harmless
the mortgagor by reason of the inability or failure of the state of New
York mortgage agency, its successors or assigns to furnish the note or
mortgage within the time period prescribed in this subdivision. Damages
imposed by this subdivision shall be in addition to the other costs and
fees allowed in this section.

5. (a) In the case of a mortgage secured by property improved by a
one-to-six family, owner occupied, residential structure or residential
condominium unit, if within ninety days of receipt of payment, and
request if required, the mortgagee fails to deliver to the mortgagor or
the mortgagor's designee the satisfaction of mortgage, the note and the
mortgage and any other documents as required by subdivision one of this
section, any attorney-at-law may execute, acknowledge and upon payment
of an additional filing fee of fifty dollars cause to be filed with the
recording officer of the county where the mortgage is recorded, an
affidavit which complies with this section. Unless the mortgagee shall
file a verified objection to such affidavit within thirty-five days of
being filed, as of the date thirty-five days subsequent to its filing,
such affidavit shall be recorded and satisfy the lien of such mortgage
on the mortgaged premises.

(b) The affidavit shall state that:

(i) The affiant is an attorney-at-law and that the affidavit is made
on behalf of and at the request of the mortgagor or any person who has
acquired title to the mortgaged premises;

(ii) The mortgagor made a proper request of the mortgagee for the
execution of the satisfaction of mortgage pursuant to subdivision one of
this section;

(iii) The mortgagor has received a payoff statement for the loan
secured by the mortgage, and shall annex as evidence a copy of the
payoff statement;

(iv) The affiant has ascertained that the mortgagee received payment
of the loan in accordance with the payoff statement, and shall annex as
evidence, copies of the check negotiated by the mortgagee or documentary
evidence of such payment;

(v) The affiant, at least thirty days after the mortgagee received
payment, has given the mortgagee written notice together with a copy of
the proposed affidavit, delivered by certified or registered mail,
return receipt requested, to the attention of the person or department
set forth in the payoff statement, of the affiant's intention to execute
and record an affidavit in accordance with this section; and

(vi) The mortgagee has not responded in writing to such notification
or all requests by the mortgagee for payment have been complied with at
least fifteen days prior to the date of the affidavit.

(c) Such affidavit shall identify the mortgagor and the mortgagee,
state the date of the mortgage, the liber and page of the land records
where the mortgage is recorded and give similar information with respect
to any recorded assignment of the mortgage.

(d) The affiant shall attach to the affidavit photostatic copies of
the documentary evidence that payment has been received by the
mortgagee, including mortgagee's endorsement of any check, and a
photostatic copy of the payoff statement and certify each to be a copy
of the original document.

(e) Within five days of the filing of such affidavit the register or
clerk of every county in whose office said mortgage has been recorded
shall give the mortgagee written notice, delivered by certified or
registered mail, return receipt requested, to the attention of the
person or department set forth in the payoff statement, as annexed to
the affidavit filed hereunder, of the filing of such affidavit, which
notice shall include the following notice in capital letters:

"THIS NOTICE IS MADE UNDER SECTION 1921 OF THE REAL PROPERTY ACTIONS
AND PROCEEDINGS LAW. FAILURE TO FILE WITH THIS OFFICE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS
OF THIS NOTICE A VERIFIED OBJECTION TO THE DISCHARGE OF THE MORTGAGE
DESCRIBED IN THIS NOTICE WILL RESULT IN SUCH MORTGAGE BEING CANCELED AND
DISCHARGED OF RECORD."
Unless the register or clerk of such county shall receive from the
mortgagee, within thirty-five days of the date of filing of such
affidavit, a verified objection by the mortgagee to the discharge of
said mortgage, the register or clerk shall record the affidavit and
supporting documents and mark the mortgage described in the affidavit
canceled and discharged of record and such recorded affidavit shall have
the same force and effect as a duly executed satisfaction of mortgage
recorded in accordance with section three hundred twenty-one of the real
property law. If the register or clerk of such county shall receive from
the mortgagee, within thirty-five days of the date of filing of such
affidavit, a verified objection by the mortgagee to the discharge of
said mortgage, the register or clerk shall return the original affidavit
and the verified objection to the attorney filing such affidavit without
marking the mortgage described in the affidavit canceled or discharged
of record. The clerk or register of such county shall additionally
transmit a copy of the affidavit and the verified objection to its
applicable appellate division of the supreme court, committee on
professional standards, for such further proceedings as determined
appropriate by such committee.

(f) The county clerk or register shall index the affidavit in the same
manner as a satisfaction of mortgage and shall record such instrument
upon payment of the same fees as for a satisfaction of mortgage.

(g) (i) Any attorney who prepares an affidavit and negligently causes
the affidavit to contain false information shall be liable to the
mortgagee for any monetary damages and subject to other applicable
sanctions under law.

(ii) Any person who supplies false information for the affidavit shall
be liable to the mortgagee for any monetary damages and subject to other
applicable sanctions under law.

(h) A banking or other organization having the original or copies
thereof, shall furnish, within sixty days of receiving a written
request, a copy of the front and reverse sides of a check issued to
satisfy the mortgage obligation by such banking or other organization,
needed for completion of an affidavit in accordance with this subdivi-
sion.

6. Eight days' notice of the application for either of the orders
provided for in subdivisions two and three of this section shall be
given to the then mortgagee of record and also, if the petition show
that there is a mortgage not of record, to such mortgagee. Such notice
shall be given in such manner as the court or the judge or justice
thereof to whom the petition is presented may direct, and said court or
judge or justice may require such longer notice to be given as may seem
proper. If sufficient cause be shown the court or judge or justice
thereof may issue such order to show cause returnable in less than eight
days.

7. Upon the return day of such order to show cause, the court, upon
proof of due service thereof and on proof of the identity of the
mortgagee and of the person presenting the petition, shall inquire in
such manner as it may deem advisable, into the truth of the facts set
forth in the petition, and in case it shall appear that said principal
sum or any unpaid balance thereof and interest and the said fees allowed
by law have been duly paid or tendered but not accepted and said
satisfaction of mortgage has been duly presented for execution, or that
such tender and presentation could not have been made within this state
with due diligence, then, in the event such mortgage is not paid, the
court shall make an order directing the sums so tendered, or in a case
where such tender could not have been made as aforesaid, directing the
principal sum or any unpaid balance thereof, with interest thereon to
the date of entry of said order together with all other amounts due
thereunder pursuant to subdivision three of this section and the
aforesaid fees allowed by law, to be paid to the officer specified by
law to hold court funds and moneys deposited in court in the county
wherein the application herein is made, and directing and ordering that
upon such payment the debt or other obligation secured by the mortgage
be canceled and further directing the register or clerk of any and every
county in whose office said mortgage shall have been recorded to mark
said mortgage canceled and discharged of record upon the production and
delivery to such register or clerk of a certified copy of the order and
the receipt of such officer, showing that the amount required by said
order has been deposited with him, which certified copy of said order
and which receipt shall be recorded, filed and indexed by any such
register or clerk in the same manner as a certificate of discharge of a
mortgage. Said receipt need not be acknowledged to entitle it to be
recorded. The court in its discretion, when granting any such order
after application therefor pursuant to subdivision two of this section,
may award costs and reasonable attorney's fees to the person making the
application, in the absence of the showing of a valid reason for the
failure or refusal to execute the satisfaction of mortgage and deliver
the same, the note and mortgage and any other documents required under
subdivision one of this section. The money deposited shall be payable to
the mortgagee, his personal representative or assigns, upon an order of
the supreme court or county court, directing the payment thereof to him
upon such evidence as to his right to receive the same as shall be
satisfactory to the court.

8. Wherever any register or clerk shall record any order and receipt
as hereinbefore specified, he shall mark the record of said mortgage as
follows:

"Canceled and discharged by order of the ..........................
Court, County of ......................., dated .................. and
filed .......................," and thereupon the lien of such mortgage
shall be deemed to be discharged and the debt secured thereby shall be
deemed to be canceled. Said register or clerk shall be permitted to
charge for recording and filing said order and receipt, the same fees to
which he is now entitled for recording and filing a certificate of
satisfaction of a mortgage.

9. When used in this section:

(a) "Mortgagee" means (i) the current holder of the mortgage of record
or the current holder of the mortgage, or (ii) any person to whom
payments are required to be made or (iii) their personal
representatives, agents, successors, or assigns.

(b) "Attorney-at-law" means any person admitted to practice law in
this state and in good standing.

(c) "Payoff statement" means a statement setting forth the unpaid
balance of the mortgage, including principal, interest and other charges
pursuant to the loan documents, together with a per diem rate for
interest accruing after the date to which the unpaid balance has been
calculated. The payoff statement furnished by a banking organization or
corporate mortgagee shall include a name of an individual employed by
such banking organization or corporate mortgagee or department of such
banking organization or corporate mortgagee to whom inquiry concerning
the payoff statements are to be addressed in addition to the address of
the banking organization or corporation for use in connection with the
affidavit under subdivision five of this section.

(d) "Banking organization" shall have the same meaning as provided in
subdivision eleven of section two of the banking law and shall include
any institution chartered or licensed by the United States or any state.

(e) "Note" shall include any written evidence of indebtedness.